Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stem Cells

When Douglas Melton found his son turning gray and projectile vomiting when he was 6 months old he thought it was just a cold. He and his wife took him to the emergency room and they ran test after test on him only to find out that he had type 1 diabetes. After that day their whole lives were dedicating to making sure that Sam’s blood sugar was right. This was before they had a lot of technology about diabetes so they had to wake a couple times during the night to make sure his blood sugar wasn’t too high or too low. Melton thought that this was no way to live life and this is what inspired him to study the possibilities of stem cells. He now tries to make insulin producing cells using stem cells. The study of stem cells shows promise to the helping or even curing of diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and even heart disease. There are two types of cells, embryonic cells and cells taken from tissues from the body or that is what was believed until Melton started work on a new stem cell which generate new populations of cells by reprogramming one type of fully mature cell so it became another. President Bush passes laws saying Scientists could not use government funding to grow or even look at embryonic stem cells. This may change now that Barack Obama took office though and many scientists are hopeful.
This does affect society and it does affect the world. Although it may not be directly you, someone you know, or someone who knows someone you know may have one of these diseases that this type of research could save their life. This is good news or bad news depending on your opinion of it. If you are against stem cell research than this is bad news because it is pretty much saying that stem cell research is going big and now with the possible funding scientists may be getting from Barack Obama it may get even bigger. The possibilities are growing and the diseases may be getting cured. This is good news because they may be on the verge of a break through for curing diseases which have been incurable in the past. I think everyone should care because this could be a really goo dthing. And it does affect you in some way or another. There are many more questions from scientists and people about where this type of research will go but that is why scientist continue to study stem cells.

Dangers of Ocean Acidification

The Industrial Revolution brought about cars, factories, machines etc. but most importantly it also brought about air pollution. More specifically Carbon Dioxide pollution in the air. The problem is this pollution just doesn’t end up in the air. A lot of this Carbon being emitted in the air is being absorbed in our oceans. This causes a lot of problems for our ecosystem. The JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study) and the WOCE (World Ocean Circulation Experiment) completed an exercise in 2004 and concluded that the ocean has absorbed fully half of all the fossil carbon released to the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. What this does is make the oceans pH fluctuate. The current absorption of Carbon Dioxide has caused the pH of modern surface waters to be about .1 lower than it was in preindustrial times. This seems like a small change but if this continues oceanographers suggest the pH of the ocean several centuries from now will be lower than at any time in the pas 300 million years. The lower pH may harm the ability of certain organisms to make calcium carbonate so much that these organisms will have a difficult time growing. Including Coccolithophorids which are plankton covered with small plates of calcium carbonate and are essential to the diet of many marine fish. Also many corals whose shells are made of calcium will start disintegrating along with a string of other problems.
This affects society because it is our ecosystem that is being harmed and it is our fault. We are the ones that brought cars and factories to the world so it should be our job to make sure that we keep our planet healthy from things that we brought into it. It is important because marine life although small and seemingly non important are actually very important to our ecosystem and people’s lives. This is bad news that our oceans are changing because it seems like a small change now but if this pattern continues it will get worse and worse until the effects are irreversible. We are causing lifetime damage to our oceans and causing harm to many marine organisms. We should definitely care because this is our world, our environment, our life and it is our job to keep our earth clean and properly functioning. There are still many questions posed on how we can stop this or if there are any positive effects to the increase in Carbon in the water. With the help of interested people and scientist soon we will know more about this problem and will hopefully be able to do something about it.
I would recommend this article to anyone interested in Marine Biology as a career possibly in the future or any sort of science related or environment related career. It is important information for anyone to know. Although it seems like it doesn’t apply to you because it is talking about a bunch of scientific terms and it’s a lot of information but it really does affect us all. If it doesn’t know it will in the future and it is now that we can stop what is happening.

Transfiguration Carissa Style

So today I was taking a shower and I looked up in the corner to see a little spider dangling from the corner. Right when I was about to scream and kill it I stopped. I wondered how long it had been there. I hadnt noticed it before but with the business of the Christmas season who knows how long it had been there! It could have been there for weeks for all I knew. Then I got to looking at it lazily wasting away in its web and I envied it. It didnt have any last minute Christmas shopping to do or baking or decorating etc. Then I got to thinking I didnt have to do any of that either. The reason we do all of that is for the enjoyment of the season :D So why does everyone make it such a stressful time? The Holidays are supposed to be abot being happy and spending time with your loved ones not about stress and scrambling. So my advice is do things out of love and wanting to not because you feel you have to this holiday season. Make the holidays happy not stressful because only you can do it :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Now some people might try to convince you that the opening to this blog is not politically correct. Well you know what? I dont care! We have the right to free speech in this country and that is why I love being an American. With the coming of the winter holidays there is always a lot of controversy about religion versus state. Employees arent allowed to say Merry Christmas teachers arent aloud to have Christmas parties. While I agree with some of this I had to ask myself. Would I get offended if somebody came up to me and said Happy Hannukah? Happy Ede? Happy Kwanza? The answer is no I wouldnt. I would actually be ecstatic to listen to all the cool things of different religions and cultures and how other people celebrate. On the other hand I would see how it is annoying listening to other people always talk about christmas time and make all the christmas references when you dont understand it. So I think it is good to keep a balance of both this season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Incredible Case of Phineas Gage!

Phineas Gage born in 1823 was a regular man who was a foreman on a crew of railroad construction workers who were working on the Berlington Railroad. What they would do on the railroad is insert dynamite into holes in the ground then plug up those holes with sand and light a fuse so the force of the dynamite would go into the boulder and not to the outside. They would do this with a tamping iron which is a long iron rod about three feet in length. One day on September 13th 1848 when Gage was 25 he was working on the Berlington Railroad in Vermont when a spark ignited the gun powder and sent a tamping iron straight through his left cheek bone up through his skull. Surprisingly Gage was able to stand up, walk, and even talk just minutes after the horrific accident. Gage was rushed to the doctor where Dr. John Martin Harlow examined him. Dr. Harlow confirmed that the rod that entered his skull was 3 feet 8 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter and it weighed 6 kg. Dr. Harlow did not treat Gage surgically but replaced the parts of his skull that he could with adhesive wrap and put a wet compress on the open part of Gage’s skull. Within a few days of the accident Gage’s brain became infected with a fungus and he went into a semi-comatose state. Gage’s family planned for his death but surprisingly enough Gage came out of his coma and by January 1st 1849 Gage was seemingly as normal as ever. His colleagues and family members soon noticed a difference in Gage’s personality though. His work wouldn’t even let him back on the job. They said he was defiant, disrespectful, and impatient when something conflicted with what he wanted, rude, indecisive etc. He was to his friends “no longer Gage.” Doctors soon found out that the damage done to Gage’s frontal cortex led to social inhibitions which usually led to inappropriate behavior. It’s not certain what Gage did after his accident but eventually in 1859 with his health declining, he went to live with his mother. He died on May 20th 1860 13 years after his accident.

This accident of Phineas Gage was extremely important in the advancement of neurology and also the study of the brain. David Ferrier carried out a physiological study about localization of cerebral functions. Ferrier used Gage’s story as a highlight in his Goulstonian lecture in 1878 and ultimately Gage’s story helped prove Ferriers hypothesis that damage to the prefrontal cortex could result in personality changes. So this story does in fact affect society because it helps us better understand the brain and the functions of the brain. This is good news to us so we can better understand the brain and how it works and what it can really do. We should care so we know what to do the next time something like this happens. We should also care because now we have some insight on how to treat brain injuries such as Gages. Of course this study of science is fairly new and there are still so many questions to be answered. Like how exactly and what exactly does the prefrontal cortex do. Is this the only part of the brain that controls the personality? What else can be changed by altering the brain in ways? At least these are some of my questions. Now that we have better technology and equipment we can discover the answers to some of these questions and some of the questions that arose in the eighteen hundreds when Gage had his accident.


A Year Without a Santa Claus

WARNING! If you are under the age of ten years old DO NOT READ THIS BLOG. I don't want to crush your hopes and dreams like mine were.

For me as a young girl Christmas was about magic and miracles and happiness. It was undoubtedly one of my most favorite times of the year. I loved going sledding out in the snow, making snowmen with my dad and sister, and of course I loved coming down on Christmas morning to a tree filled with presents from Santa Claus. I was a firm believer in Santa Claus. Sure there were those nay sayers, who would try to prove me wrong but my philosophy was seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing. Santa was more than a jolly old man who gave me presents each year he was a symbol of the magic of Christmas. I loved the Santa Claus movies with Tim Allen. If you haven't seen them I recommend you do! But to see how happy him and the elves were up in the North Pole just made me feel nice and warm inside. My parents were very good with keeping the charade up about Santa Claus. One year my sister and I awoke to find that on our fireplace, (we have these glass doors that close) was a little piece of red fabric. Santa had ripped his pants going up our chimney!!!! It was magical! It made him so real to think that I was actually holding a piece of Santa's clothing! I wanted to keep them forever! But my mom made me and my sister send them back to Mrs. Claus so she could patch his pants up for him. Each year we would leave him cookies and carrots for the reindeer, each year the cookies would be gone and the carrots would be nibbled. So I had no reason to prove them wrong. As I started getting older my doubts slowly started creeping into the back of my mind. But I didn't dare think about them. Then one day in fifth grade my good friend Haley jumped into a lively debate with me about Santa Claus. "Santa isn't real I know so!" "How do you know?" I asked sarcastically. "Because my parents told me they do it!!!" I think that moment was one of the worst feelings I have ever had in the pit of my stomach. My heart sank and it was all I could do to stop from crying right there on the spot. "Well I don't believe you." I said shyly. I wanted to drop the subject completely but she went on to say how her dad would tell her brother there was such a thing as a jolly fat man who put presents under the tree and she would smile and say yes there is! haha I remember this conversation like it was yesterday. That feeling of dread. I couldn't get my mind off it the rest of the day. "Because my parents told me they do it!!!" Kept playing over and over again in my head like a bad record. I went home that night and confronted my mom about it. Actually I tried to get answers. "Maybe Santa doesn't come to Haley's house because she doesn't believe and he knows that!" My mom was on the computer and I could tell she was trying to ignore me. As I kept asking more and more questions she slowly sighed and turned to me. "Alright sweety come here..." She said. She set me on her lap and prepared me for the blow. Those words that came out of her mouth were ones I never wanted to hear. I cried harder than I ever had before. My mom thought I was so upset because I they had been lying to me the whole time but I was most upset because my childhood friend, companion, someone I had turned to when I was upset was gone. Just like that. In an instant. Everything I had believed in everything I wanted to be true was no more. To this day thinking about that sad day after school still chokes me up. It took me about two years to get over that. That year during Christmas I pretended as if my Mom had never said it. I tried to repress it in the back of my mind just to get the joy of Christmas back. Year after year I would convince myself it was all a lie, they must be mistaken. Because you see to me it was more than a holiday figure, santa was the heart of the magic of Christmas. He made me feel as if anything was possible. I guess I'm glad that I believed in him for so long. If you think about fifth grade is kind of pushing it. I've heard of people who stopped believing when they were two. I had a good run with St. Nick. But I got to thinking. Do I want my kids to go through the same thing that I did? Do I want them to feel the same heart break that I did? Maybe I shouldn't even start the fantasy and come clean with them right away. But I know if I did that I would be denying them the happiness that I felt for so long too...I guess I still have some time to think about it. Now I have found other ways to find that joy in Christmas. I have learned that it isn't all about Santa Claus. I remember the true reason for Christmas. To celebrate Christ's birth and have fun times with your friends and family :) So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Playtime Poppy

The sun is out, the sky is clear, birds came back spring must be here so let's begin another year, a year with Frog and Toad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh yes another successful Playtime Poppy show has come to a close. This year as you know the show was a Year with Frog and Toad. There really was no plot line it was pretty much just two friends, Frog and Toad going and doing things throughout the year, they went sledding, baked cookies, celebrated Christmas, went swimming and even grew a garden. This show had a lot of special effects and props for instance there was a big ramp that was made to look like a sledding hill and when in the winter the moles were singing snow came down from the ceiling. The snow was made up of little pieces of plastic bags. The costumes were great too they were all recycled from previous years and they were made by Mr. A the man who usually does them. Overall the show went really well and people enjoyed it. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Speech Season

Before Thanksgiving Break we auditioned for Speech Team. Speech Team is a competitive acting group where we go and compete in different categories like group mime, improv, one act, musical theatre, ensemble acting etc. It is really fun and a great way to meet people! This year I am in individual storytelling and group mime. I'm really excited because I really enjoy acting. Here is a video of what group mime is like.

Here is an example of Musical Theatre


Playtime Poppy

Wednesday-Show at one
Thursday-Show at 4:30 and 7
Friday-Show at 4:30 and 7
Saturday-Show at 2 and 4

This was what my week consisted of. Rehearsing and shows. Playtime Poppy is a childrens theatre that puts on shows every year for children. This year was A Year with Frog and Toad. It was based off of the childrens book A Year with Frog and Toad. It was a really fun play to do. The characters consisted of Frog of course and Toad. Also some other characters were the moles, lizard, turtles, birds, and the mice. I was the lizard. Childrens theatre is really fun because usually its not just one person has the lead and is the main character. The spotlight is shared throughout the whole play. I like doing childrens theatre shows because you really get to interact with the children and have audience participation which is really fun. Also at the end of every show the characters run out to the cafeteria to sign autographs on the childrens programs. The costumes are really amazing too. I think it is great because the costumes arent new they are reused from year to year and recycled. Which is good because we conserve money that way. Now that it is over its really sad because that has been our life for the past couple of weeks. I really enjoyed this cast too because I felt like we all got along really well and sincerely enjoyed working with each other. Im really excited to try out for next years show too!!! So goodbye to another year of playtime poppy now on to speech season :D


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cops~Carissa Style

"It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive. ~Earl Warren"

Two Thursdays before Thanksgiving break I got the opportunity of a lifetime. You remember that leadership program I wrote a post about earlier? Well as a perk to this program all the students get the chance to go on a police ride for six hours. I chose that Thursday night because we didnt have school the next day so I didnt have to worry about homework or anything. When I got there my police officer ; Officer Doyle gave me a tour of the police station and control room and stuff like that. While he was talking to his co-workers he told him about one of his more interesting experiences on the job. He said him and his partner stopped a van and the guy in the van threw a sock filled with Meth and Marijuana at them. When he went in to arrest this man he found that he was paraplegic which means that he is paralyzed from his waist down. My cop had to pick him up and carry him into the jail. What a story! With a story like this I was really excited to start working with my police officer that night. I'm not going to lie when we first started out it was a bit of a let down. All we did was sit on the bridge and watch for speeders. Then we got a call of a guy that got his truck stolen so we had to go file that claim. I walked with him and listened when he talked to the guy. It was anything less than exciting. He just got a bunch of information fromt he guy and we went about our business. Then the night really started to pick up. We got a call about a hit and run so we went to see what that was all about. Turns out it was just a bitter feud between neighbors. We went up to knock on the door of the woman that was accused of hitting the mans car but she wouldnt answer. The police officer told the guy to report any other abuse from this woman but that there was nothing he could do. Then we went driving around and he made a quick U turn and pulled over a car without its license plates. He came back into the police car and said
"It smells like dope in there."
Okay Im not going to lie I was so excited! I could potentially get to see a drug bust up close and personal! So he called for some back up and they went in searched the guy and asked to search his car. He denied.
"That means that he is hiding something from us." Said Officer Doyle. Then I saw one of the other cops that he called for back up take the girl to his car and put her in the back seat. He then came and showed my cop a bag of none other than MARIJUANA! I have never smelled marijuana before but it stunk! Really bad! And it didnt just smell it made the whole car smell. The officer let me look at it and touch it. He said it was fresh because it was still on the vine and it was really compacted. We found out that she was carrying 8 ounzes of it. We took the woman into jail and I got to see the whole process of how they process people. I got to see a jail cell too and everything. Then we left to help out some other police officers with yet another drug bust!!! This time they found about 15 ounzes of meth. They showed me how they test it for meth they put a little bit of it in a bag and break these tubes and if it changes a certain color then it is meth. It did so they took her into the jail too. Our last stop of the night was from a guy that wasnt being let into his house. We talked to him and evidentally he had a surgery the next day at Saint Lukes. His wife/girlfriend/friend/I dont really know what she was was walking towards the house so we went to go talk to her. I could tell she had attitude right away. We were calmly talking to her and she started screaming this is my house! This is my house!!! The police officer told her to sit on the porch and not move but defiantly she walked into her appartment building slamming the door right in the officers face. I was just standing there outside with the guy that made the call in the first place so I was kind of freaked out so I walked into the appartment building and walked up the stairs until I found officer Doyle. He was trying to get the woman out of her appartment but she wouldnt open the door. So he called in reinforcements and after a while they decided they had to kick the door down! So two of the officers kicked her door down and took her to the jail for public intox and interference. It was so crazy!!!!!! After that night I realized that it would be cool to be a police officer! So now I am thinking about pursuing that as a career I guess we will see! But that was definitely a fun night that I will never forget!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Challenge Mania

You know that scene in Drumline where the big Bass drum challenges the other and they go at it in front of the whole band and ther is only one winner and after they are done everyone holds their breathes to see who will win? Well that is what the challenges at Kennedy are like only I would say about ten times worse. (Exaggeration :P) Anyway yes it is that time of year again concert band auditions. Now let me tell you the auditions are scary alone, you have to go in play all twelves scales, play a prepared etude and a sightreading piece. The thing is once you see your name on the list and where you rank you cant be relieved just yet because you have to worry about the person behind you. Are they going to challenge me or not? What will happen, pretty much the whole week after auditions you are just waiting in anticipation to see if the person sitting behind you will challenge you. You are smiling at them twice as much, making sure to be extra nice to them. Its especially stressful for me because I am the last chair in the top band (there are three bands concert band, symphonic band, and wind symphony, Im in Wind this year) so that means that the first chair symphonic girl could challenge me and I would be knocked down a whole band. This week is also a challenge frenzy week. The directors printed off a whole pack of challenge forms and they were gone after first hour the first day. People arent happy with their chairs so they just go crazy there are people who try to challenge up through a line of people just one after the other after the other. While I find this whole process very stressful it still annoys me the attitudes some poeple have about challenging. I am jsut sick and tired of hearing people bash on other people that challenge them. Its the name of the game people. You know that. Its not that they hate you and have been secretly plotting against you for your entire life and this is their one chance to ruin you! Its because they want to get better and improve their skills as well, they want to try and be the best they can be. You cant blame them for that right? Its funny to see challenges ruin friendships, some people say they would feel betrayed if their friend challenged them but in all honesty if my friend were ahead of me I wouldnt be declined from challenging them. Does that make them any less of a friend? No of course not its just the name of the game. What I have to tell all you whiners, and naysayers, and challenger bashers out there is suck it up and get on with it. Stop complaining and just do your best. Dont hate the player, hate the game :P

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Youth Leadership for Five Seasons

Last year I was accepted into the Youth Leadership for Five Seasons. This is a program that not many people know about at Kennedy but is a really good organization. We go around on different days (on Wednesdays usually once a month) to different organizations/businesses in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities and we also do group and team building activities and talk about how we can help improve and make the Cedar Rapids community better. Usually these days are really fun and enlightening and it gives us leadership skills we get to use every single day. We are afterall the future of Cedar Rapids :) The first outing we had together was the Leadership Retreat. We went to the boyscout camp and did the high ropes course and some team building activities. It was really fun because we got to do it in the rain!!! Haha The next day was Law and Government day. We went to a halfway house and listened to a man that worked there then we listened to some lawyers and judges speak. Then we went to the police department and got to watcha demonstration with a police dog and we got to look at some pretty neat weaponry. Then we listened to the City council members and the mayor talk. The best part of that day was probably going to listen to some court hearings. It was really neat to get to see these in real life. You see them on tv and movies and stuff but it was cool to witness it up close. The next day was Volunteering day and we went to help out at Camp Tanager. A camp that houses kids with blood disorders and other diseases for a week in the summer so they can experience just a normal camp experience. Then we took a tour of the ice arena and the kernals stadium. Then we even got to go ice skating for the afternoon! It was a lot of fun. The most recent day was Corridor Day. The "Corridor" is the area of Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville etc. They were trying to teach us that there was more to our community than just Cedar Rapids. We went to take a tour of Nordstrums and that was really cool. They took us through the warehouse and it was massive! It was really cool to see all the conveyor belts and things and the 300 foot high holding shelves. Then we went to the airport to see where they fly private jets and we even got to sit in one. Then we went to kirkwood to listen to some people talk about the Corridor and we finished off the day at a printing press where they printed newspapers like the Gazette. My favorite day so far was Law and Government day. I enjoyed seeing the different aspects of the law. This has been a very good experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I encourage everyone to go out and do some sort of leadership role. Whether it be volunteering at the soup kitchen after school or running for Student Government President. Who knows what may come of it. The possibilities are endless!


Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today Ms. F informed us we were not aloud to sit in the band hallway to eat lunch anymore because it was getting littered and messy and people were just plain not taking care of it and abusing their priveleges. Now aside from the fact that I know me and many other kids would go out of their way to pick up trash in the hallway BECAUSE of the fact that we knew it was a privelege I was upset by this. This is where me and "my group" of friends would go to get away from the loud roaring noises and crowd of the lunch room. We started going there at the beginning of the year so we always had a spot there. Now because some people choose not to take care of what they have we had to get thrown into the mess and confusion of what is referred to as the lunch room. I wasnt too worried but once I got in line and got my food I stepped out of the line and felt like a scared little freshman again. I felt like a loser I think I stood there for 5 minutes just looking for a spot to sit! Finally I found my friends sitting at a table so I went to sit by them but there was no room left so I had to share a seat with my friend Hailee. Haha yeah we are cool we cant even find our own spots! What does this tell me? We get so used to routine and our set group of friends that when put in a situation we cant adjust to the different surroundings. We get so used to our cliques that we can adjust and morph in and out of different clique groups. Most of the kids that ate in the band hall were band kids. And Im not going to lie when we went into the cafeteria there was a table full of band kids. And which table did I want to gravitate towards? Yes the "Band Table". The stories they say about the cliques at school are pretty much true. We all have our defined groups we feel most comfortable in but I think there is one thing that isnt true. They say that these cliques dont let anyone in their groups but I think the real problem is ourselves. We dont venture out to different people. We like our nice little safe bubble of people. So I challenge you, tomorrow sit at a different table, sit with someone you normally wouldnt. Who knows what will happen?!? :D


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Indoor Marching Band Classic

The official final, end of the 2009 Marching Band Season. Usually I wouldnt look forward to something like this, its just a performance, we dont compete and its on a Monday night when all I want to do is go home and sleep! But what I do like about these performances is that we get to watch either the Iowa State or the Iowa marching bands play some of their songs for us. THis is really cool because the performance is complete with dance team members, cheerleaders, and a baton twirler! They are really good at both marching and playing and it just makes me want to be all that better. Considering that we had to condense our show about 10 yards and the floor was really slippery and there was no traction and the whole place echoed I would say we did really well for our last performance. Although not exactly the most exciting show or competition surely a good one to end the season with. So we hang up our uniforms for another year, clean up the shoes, store the plumes and count down the days until band camp! (Yes I did actually just say that. I know, Im a geek :) A Kennedy Marching Band Geek!!!!!!)


Sunday, October 25, 2009

All State Auditions 2009

I woke up that morning with a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was the day of All State audtitions. Althought I knew I was only trying out to better my flute playing skills and it didnt really matter to me if I got in or not just the thought of going into a room and playing for a judge gave me the creeps. I hate auditions they make me so nervous so I was surprised to see when I got in there my nerves went right away and I actually played really well. It was a great experience and I might do it again next year. Most importantly it got me ready for school auditions for chairs for concert band and it helped me improve my skills.


Drama Drama Drama!

What do you think of when you think High School? One of the top things is DRAMA! Not so much among boys I assume but a lot among girls. There is ALWAYS something happening that is the center of attention. Susy said this about Sally. Kristen is flirting with Morgans boyfriend. Sarah bought the same pair of shoes that Jessica had first. I find this all completely stupid and a major waste of time. This has been a horrible week for me because of drama. And I got to realize why is it so horrible? Some of my friends thought I was doing something that I was most definitely not. Or I felt I wasnt. When my friend confronted me about it I was really thrown for a loop. I couldnt eat or sleep or concentrate on anything because I thought my friend was mad at me. When I told the friend that called me that I didnt want to talk to the other girl about this problem to avoid drama but she could call me if she was upset I didnt hear anything back from her. But then I found out my friend was extrememly upset with me. I was devastated. The whole week everything I think about, everything I do is based off of this situation. It is controlling my life. They might not think that what they said was that big of a deal or the fact that they are mad at me is a big deal but to me my friends and family are everything. Without them I would be lost. Even if I am not as close of friends with some of my friends than others I still am just as devastated when something comes between us. This whole week this situation I am in has been like a puppet master and I am the little marionette just dancing to its whim. It has been eating away at me like a crow picks at a dead raccoon carcus. Why? Why is this so important to me that it makes me feel this bad? I know I shouldnt get this upset about rumors or what people think about me but it really does get to me. I am trying to stop that about myself. What does get to me is when friends are mad at me. I know that usually my friends will get over it in a day or so but just the thought of losing a friend for good scared the crap out of me. Everytime a friend doesnt talk to me I cant help but wonder, what if this friend never speaks to me again. What if this is it and I never get to see her again and things never go back to the way they were. Sometimes you have to just let things cool over and simmer for a while until they go back to normal. I have found that if you just leave something be and dont continue to annoy it and agitate it most things resolve themselves. Why do girls feel the need to create such drama in the first place? Are we so bored with our lives that we have nothing better to do than just bring up stupid things to fight and nit pick about. Some of the things I have fought with my friends about has been really dumb let me tell you. I am by no means an angelic child who never causes drama of her own let me tell you that but after this event that happened to me this week I have made a goal to cause as little drama as possible. I want to have fun my highschool year that includes not losing any friends over stupid problems. I know that just because I will try not to cause drama drama wont start around me. It will and I understand that but I am going to try my best to ignore it and move on. Because if you think about it really what is so important that is going to change our lives in highschool? Non of the drama really matters when you dig down deep to the center of it. Thats why I am choosing to ignore drama and steer clear of it. I understand that this is harder than it sounds and I realize it is going to take a tough skin to do but I think in the end it will make me a better person. I hope my friends can see the light in this new way of life too. So lets hear it for a drama free year! (Hopefully;D)


Slow Down and Smell the Roses :)

So Halloween is just around the corner and that means trick or treaters, watching scary movies in the darkness of the basement, carving pumpkins and going to haunted houses. The fall is a lovely time of the year and I always loved going out and trick or treating as a child for Halloween. Halloween is one of those holidays that people arent obligated to celebrate for their religion but it is a fun way to get away with the stress of everyday life. My family always makes it a tradition to go out and get pumpkins from a pumpkin patch. It is always fun for me because it is a long drive out in the countryside so you get to see all the trees changing color and it is really beautiful. It is also a good time for some good old (pardon my cheesiness) family bonding. I think it is important for families to have designated time just for them. In a world of texting, emailing, boyfriends, sleepovers, homework and work galore it is always good to slow down and enjoy things. The only thing I could think of this morning was waking up and getting all of my homework done. To be honest I was hoping we would forget about the pumpkin patch. But we went out for breakfast and once we got there I was expecting to chill my butt off but I got out of the car and it was actually pretty nice weather out today. I got to take a look at all the beautiful trees and all their pretty colors and I found some cats that were really cute to take pictures of. I even forgot for a moment about all the work I had to do, my audition in band the next week, and my math quiz I have on Wednesday. I think I take my family for granted sometimes. Lots of people dont have it as good as I do. A mother and father who arent divorced a little sister who looks up to me. Even people who dont have the perfect family its never too late to start talking. Sometime just take a little time to get to know each other. You may have lived under the same roof with them for your whole life but you never really know them quite as well until you have watched a movie, played Taboo, or gone to get pumpkins with them.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Playtime Poppy

Playtime Poppy auditions were Wednesday. We had to do a couple of scenes from the play and sing a song. The show this year is A Year with Frog and Toad. It is a musical and it should be really fun :) The cast list went up on Friday and I got the role of Lizard. Although I dont know what that role entitles quite yet I am very excited to start in on the rehearsals. We start rehearsal on Monday. There is a cast of about 20 people total. So come to see it! I will put up details later :)

Haunted Police Station!

So me and my friends decided to get in the halloween spirit and go to the Haunted Police Station this weekend. We had a great time, jumping at gargoyles and getting chased by masked men with chainsaws. It got me thinking though, what is so thrilling about being terrified? Why do people deliberately rent horror movies, go to frightmare forest and haunted houses, go on scary rides just to get the living day lights scared out of them? To me it is the thrill of it. The rush of adrenaline you get when you know that that dummy in the corner is real and is going to pop out at you and yet you still scream bloody murder when he does. Its just something about not knowing what is going to happen, that feeling of being out of control that gets your heart rate going. Im not one to take big risks, i have never been sky diving or bungee jumping. I have never wrestled a bear or performed a dangerous stunt. So when I get the chance to take little risks like renting a scary movie or go to a scary place I take it. I used to hate rollercoasters, and pretty much every other kind of thrill ride that you can find at amusement parks but I found a quote that really hits home with me. The biggest risk in life is not taking any at all. I want to look back on my life and remember doing crazy things and I want to be able to tell my grandchildren, yeah I really did that :) Now I know renting prom night and watching it in the dark on a Friday night with my friends isnt really what you would call a big risk but for me its a start. There are parts of a movie that I would want to turn away and not watch but I would force myself to look just to push myself to the limits, see if I could do it. At the haunted police station I started out in the back and after a while nobody wanted to go through a black curtain first so I took the lead and lead them through a couple of rooms. I was really proud of myself for that too. I know this probably sounds stupid and childish but they are baby steps and they are just fun to do with friends. So next time you are at a movie store or are trying to think of something to do think about renting a horror film or going to the haunted police station :) Challenge yourself take risks, see what you are capable of. You never know you might surprise yourself!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goodbye Marching Band :(

So this weekend the Marching Band was supposed to go to Ankeny, but this little thing called germs came to attack our band. On average 20 people were sick each day from Wednesday through Friday. That is a lot in a band of 120. We looked and sounded much smaller let alone two people from the drumline were gone. This isnt good because most of the time the drumline keeps us together and keeps the tempo set. The whole week there was murmurs of what was going to happen over the weekend. Would people get better? Would we even be able to go to Ankeny? Then the news came to hit us. Ms. F told us that Dr. W was wondering if it was even worth it to travel to Ankeny on a bus filled with sick people when our band was 1/5 smaller. She told us to give her our opinions so she could tell Dr. W. So everybody I knew told her they wanted to go. They wanted to have their last band competition, they wanted to finish the season like we were supposed to. But in my sixth hour class I recieved the bad news that the band would not be traveling to Ankeny the next Saturday. I know that me and many of my friends were devastated by this news. Call us geeks but we live for these competitions. They are fun and we create so many good memories :) But it was canceled. We were all pretty mad about this but when Ms. F told us why she had canceled it we all understood no matter how much we didnt want to. My philosophy was at least we still had the football game that night. We went there and were all pretty pumped because it was senior night. We warmed up and you could tell, we wanted our last performance although it wasnt what we were anticipating we wanted it to be a good one. We went out there and played our hearts out. We came back and Ms. F told us that she knew we wanted to end on a high note. "I think you guys did end on a high note." She told us. And with tear filled eyes she revealed, "I have never been more proud to work with such a fine group of people." It was our last marching band performance (besides the indoor marching band classic). We all performed to the best of our ability, the best that we could and I think we did good. So another marching band season goes down in the books, another season of hard work, lots of long practices but great memories :) Cant wait for next year ;)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Possibly the 4 Funniest Videos Ever :D

Funny kid on Rollercoaster :D
So my friends and I were studying for a big Ap World History test and of course we got off subject like usual. So what do we do? What else we hop on facebook and youtube for some good old procrastinating fun :) We just happened to come upon this video that made us all pee our pants practically. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. It is now a tradition of ours to watch it everytime we study for a major test. All I can say is Janice, Janice this hurts! haha

Hilarious Korean Karaoke Girls
So my computers screen saver is just random videos of funny things and this came up one day and I thought it was hilarious haha. These girls are so wierd with their funny dance movies and outrageous personalities. If only I knew what they were singing....

Baby laughing and baby dancing to Single Ladies by Beyonce
I love videos about babies. They are so adorable. In these videos the baby is laughing over his dad ripping paper. Its so cute and adorable haha. The other one is a baby dancing to Single Ladies. Its hilarious.

Hope these put a smile on your face for the day :) They sure lit my dark days up!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Valley Marching Band Competition...yeah the big one

Over the weekend the Marching band competed at State at Kingston and the Valley Competition in West Des Moines Valley. We marched at Kingston and got a division one rating which was the top rating. We did good but we didnt pull out quite everything we had. Our director Mr. B said "You have to go for it. Take risks dont play it safe." And that is what I intended to do. So we had a very fun filled bus ride on the way there filled with a marathon of mafia games and truth or dare sessions we might as well have just done dare or dare because thats all we did lol. Anyway we got down there and the energy and tension was high. It was cold but our energy was keeping us warm. I wasnt concentrated on the coldness I was just concentrated on giving it my all and doing my best. Valley is a really big deal. I think it is safe to say it is our biggest competition. So we all went out and from my stand point marched our hearts out. Ms. F gave us some positive feedback. You did well, just a little bit of tearing at the beginning but nothing major. But it was her last comment that made me a little scared. We will just have to see how it shows up in the rankings. When it all came down to it Kennedy got tenth place out of twelve. Jefferson got ninth, Washington got seventh and Sioux Falls got first. I think it is safe to say there was a wave of dissapointment that floated around the whole band. Last year we got seventh and we were all kind of expecting to beat Washington. So my question, what did we do wrong? Were we just really that bad? How could we do so horrible. There is something different about our attitude this year, I cant place my finger on it but other people have commented on it too. What is up with the Kennedy Marching Band? Where did our spirit go?


Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Favorite Songs for this current moment in my life (they change all the time)

Everytime these songs come onto the radio or me and my friends are in the car and are in the partying mood I light up inside. All of my worries, anxieties about the week before seem to melt away as these songs fill the air. Lately I have really gotten into the techno dance party type of music. You know the Lady GaGa, Cobra Starship, Black Eyed Peas, Shakira, Sean Paul, and 3OH!3. I know a lot of people would argue with me and say that it isnt real music, there are no real instruments being played and I know and agree with that. I do enjoy the traditional music too of Taylor Swift and her acoustic guitar but for some reason these songs just get to me. My top songs of the day...

Good Girls Gone Bad by Cobra Starship

This song has a catchy beat and really catchy lyrics. It is the type of song you can bust out to at a party.

I Gotta Feeling Black Eyed Peas

This song is special for me because it is my group of friends theme song pretty much. I gotta feeling that tonights gonna be a good night. I like the lyrics too because even though it is talking about partying and having a good night it reminds me to have a good time in highschool and to make a lot of good memories.

Dont Trust Me 3OH!3

This is yet another catchy beat, catchy song, catchy everything and I love it!!!!!! I am pretty sure this isnt the real music video but it was the only one i could find with embedding.

She Wolf Shakira

I have no idea what this song means but I like it. Shakira has a voice that is really different from other singers and it is really interesting and thats why I like it haha

Now these two songs are totally different from the first four but are absolutely amazing in their own ways and I totally love them too and I will tell you why.

You Belong With Me Taylor Swift

I love this song so much. Taylor Swift I think is the most talented young singer in hollywood. She actually has true talent and doesnt need to enhance her voice with technology and electronics. She came from nothing and is now EVERYTHING. She is americas sweetheart. From what I can tell she actually is a nice girl and not just putting on a show for tabloids. I have read nothing negative about her at all. This music video is amazing too. All of her songs actually tell a story and are deep and true and she even writes some of them. I love this music video too. I think all of her music videos are cute. She has a lot of good songs and a lot of good music videos this is just the one I am currently hooked on.

This last song can kinda go with the techno up at the top but it is kind of a different slow type of techno.

Fireflies Owl City

This is such a cute song. Once you listen to it you would be so surprised at how often you catch yourself singing it. This is kind of the song that really put Owl City on the charts but it is definitely not their only good song. All of their songs are kind of the same style and they are all beautifully written and are really good songs.

So there you have it. Some of Mildred's favorite songs of the day. You probably didnt care that I am in love with these songs but I hope I have shown you some new songs that you might enjoy as much as me and my friends do. On bad days when I am feling stressed out these songs bring a smile to my face so I hope they do for you too!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

ITED week

So its ITED week next week. That dreaded week we all hate. I have to say ITED's really stress me out even when they arent tests that we study for. With all the pressure from Dr. W about how these tests are the ones that count our junior year and that its pretty much up to us if our school gets funding from the government next year its crazy! Im so concerned about going to bed early and eating a good breakfast on those mornings and everything but what I hate is the teachers that have the nerve to give us tests and bundles of homework on those weeks! Its like hello!? We dont really have the time to study can't you be a little bit human and give us a break for one week. I have not one but two tests to study for next week not to mention homework, clubs, and marching band practices. I think if they are putting so much pressure on us to do well on these tests and actually WANT us to do well on these tests then they should have a better policy about other class work. Cause right now I am not looking forward to next week at all and its not my fault if i get a worse score on my ITED's this year than last year because I am up late studying for a bio or french test and didnt get to bed early.


Marchin' in the Rain, I'm Marcin' in the rain!

So this weekend for marching band we had the five seasons marching competition at Kingston. For this one we werent being judged but we were exhibition which meant we had judges critique us but we didnt get a trophy or anything. We also got to perform with the middle schoolers for the Olympic fanfare, America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner. We got up at ten to go to Kennedy and practice and let me tell you, it was a cold one. The skies were cloudy and gray and it was raining off and on, all in all not a great day for a outdoor band competition. That certainly didnt stop anyone from going out and giving it their all though! We went out played with the middle schoolers and performed and when we got back we werent given too great of comments from Mr. Bird. His overall issue, "You have to give me more than that." and "I know for a fact not all of you were giving it your 100% best." Which I feel is definitely true. Most of the attitudes of people were, it wasnt judged, its cold, its rainy we just want to get this over with and go home. Which I have to admit guiltily that was me. I was tired and it was raining and
I really just didnt want to be there. Usually I am in it one hundred percent no matter what type of show it is but that day I was just not in it. I think that is something we need to fix about our band. The morale. Lately I have heard nothing but complaining. Everybody says oh I want to be good! I want to beat Wash but then when the section leaders call for a sectional all we hear is "How long will this take?" "Why do we have to be here." "This is dumb." Fine then if that is the way you are going to act we dont need to have a sectional and we will just go and suck at the competitions because if you guys arent willing to put in the effort then there is no point in even going to the competitions. My advice, if you dont want to be in band, then dont be in band, cause we are better off without you. Plain and simple no matter how harsh it may sound.


Friday, October 2, 2009

I love you, your perfect, now change.....I laughed until I cried

So I went to the musical tonight. It was entitled I love you your perfect now change. It was about relationships and it went through all the different phases of relationships from that awkward first date, to the proposal, to marriage day, to first baby, to growing old and dying together. The whole way it was set up was really interesting I thought too. It didnt have a specific plot with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead the actors and actresses actually played many different characters in the entire play and the whole play was broken up into small skits and songs. This musical was sooo good I dont even know where to begin so I will go through all of the highlights of it starting with the beginning of the entire show.

The first song was less than memorable considering I dont really remember much of it except for that it was a very catchy way to start off a show. I mean dont get me wrong it was alright but I wasnt expecting much from the musical stand point of the show from just hearing that opening song. All the actors and actresses looked really good though and filled with high energy. Then the first skit came on and it was funny yes. It had a couple who were set up on a blind date and instead of going through the messy details of first second third dates, their first argument and their overall relationship they skipped right to the part where they had been broken up for two years and bumped into each other "bittersweetly". I found the song at the end of that skit quite comical and the harmonizing on both parts was great! Not that I know much about music except that I know when it sounds good! And that duet by Aubrey and Nick was really good. I think the next skit, a Stud and a Babe was by far my favorite out of all of them. Liz and Josh did a duet and the music was really up beat and fun, I might even go and try to find it on itunes later...anyway I have never seen Liz act before. I have seen Josh in many many of Kennedys theatre productions and knew that he was very talented and we were in for a treat but when Liz started talking in that annoying nasally voice I burst out laughing. She was a hit! She was so hysterical with that "dweebish" type character, she played it perfectly without going over the top. The "Single Man drought" song was like it says in the title, a bit of a drought compared to the rest of the show. I mean the acting was all decent and the singing was alright I think it was the overall script that ruined this one for me. It just wasnt as entertaining or funny or emotional as the other skits in the show. It did however shed light on a new member of the theatre cast at Kennedy Katie. She just moved here and in my opinion way to make an entrance! Not only did she have a great voice but her many different characters, (all except for the single man drought) kept me quite entertained. Immediately following Single Man Drought was why cause Im a Guy. Um...........................................................................................I dont know where to start with this one. Lets just go with this, Keenan and James come out and start stripping till they are down to just a wife beater. It was hilarious. Singing about belching, burping and farting, watching football games...why? Cuz they are guys! Me and my friend were laughing so hard at the end of that. They didnt have like set choreography for that but they did some little dance things such as thrusting the hips back and forth in a provacotive motion and showing off their guns it was funny from start to finish. Nick is a very versatile actor, he can make me feel really sad on the verge of crying in some skits and then make me laugh really hard in other which he did both in this musical. Tear Jerk was funny and honest. It showed the real feelings of men and women when it comes to things like picking the movie. Obviously this was more over the top and this is the general emotion of both genders but when Nick started jumping up and down in his seat it was hysterical (I cant think of any more good describing words for funny so I will be using this word alot in this post). This was the first time we really got to see Briana act and sing as well and she has a beautiful voice. I think Mr. Yuska cast her perfectly in this skit, it showed how good a sound she can produce and the song fit perfectly with her range of voice and style. The Lasagna Incident was so good! Katelyn is such a good actress! When she acted all awkward and wierded out I felt uncomfortable myself and started fidgeting in my seat. She nailed that part 100% and like the way she would say lines would make an otherwise not so funny line really comical. When she sang I Will Be Loved Tonight she was so good too! Like she got your attention right away with the emotion she put into her singing and never lost your attention. I knew she was a great singer from chorus line but this solo out of all the girl, slow song solos was my favorite. She is a double threat, she can act well and she sings well. Then there were two other skits and then another of my faves, the Scared Straight skit. All I have to say Lars + prison character = best combination ever! He came out and started talking in a really wierd voice and me and my friend I went with just lost it. I seriously started laughing so hard during this skit that I cried I couldnt stop. Lars was so comical, he always is when he is given a crazy character to play. The next skit that pops out to me is the Whatever Happened to Babys Parents. With Aubrey, Lars and Tanner. This skit was filled with lots of high energy and crazy out there situtations. Once again Lars was hilarious when he played an overly excited new Dad. This was one of the first times Tanner was really on the stage too and his facial expressions really put the icing on the cake for this one. This is when you can tell truely good acting, when they can have very little lines or non at all and still make you laugh by there body language and facial expressions and Tanner definitely has that ability! Now the song that followed this skit was...well...honestly it was "one of the wierdest things I have seen in my whole life." to quote my friend Hailee after witnessing it. It consisted of Lars singing about his baby while singing in baby language. Googooboogaboo I believe was in there with Wiggawiggapoodlypoo and boomboom. It was overall really strange but Lars sounded good :) Haha I thought the Family that Drives together was so realistic! It was funny because it was painfully true! When the Mom in the car turned around and said "No fighting!" Me and my friend looked at each other and said "Thats what my mom always says!" haha. It was also nice to see James dressed in emo type outfit with outrageous eyeliner on and in the middle of the song he screamed, "We're growing up in a disfunctional family!!!!" Yeah all around hilarious. The next song Shouldnt I Be Less in Love With You. O-------------------------------------------------------------------M----------------------------------------------------------------------G. BEST SONG EVER! I seriously got chills and COULD NOT LOOK AWAY THE WHOLE TIME. Nick did such an amazing job, it was filled with so much emotion and energy and that sounds totally cheesy but that is the truth! I want to bottle this song up and take it with me wherever I go. Nick did a great job with dynamics and everything. It was just too good to even describe in words, go see it for yourself. Then the last two skits were good too. Funerals are for dating with Keenan and Briana wasnt a funny way to end the show but really kind of made you look back ont he rest of the show and think about the overall meaning. The end skit was about two old-- I mean elderly people who kind of hook up at a funeral home. Cause lately that is where they spend most of their time. The guy asks the woman on a date and they both agree they are still in love with their late spouses but while they are still living they might as well live. It was really cute and sweet and sentimental and put everthing into perspective. And finally the finale, the last song. The last song I liked cuz all of the people came out in my favorite characters that they were and as always had a really high energy final song. The actual song I thought could have been better but Mr. Y didnt write it himself so Im not holding that against him. Overall as you can tell I absolutely adored this show and encourage EVERYBODY TO GO AND SEE IT! Throughout the show it filled me with all different kinds of emotions, it was hilarious, yet very emotional and heart wrenching at times, it had its fast fun songs and its beautiful slow songs and everything and anything in between. This show had it all! I thought Little Shop was going to be a hard one to top but now Im thinking this will be the hardest! But I know Mr. Y will find a way :)


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mall of America

So I love the Mall of America dont get me wrong but it can be pretty overwhelming. So many stores, so many attractions so many food courts so little time! First you have to choose, do you want to go shopping, the amusement park, the water park, or the aquarium? If you want to do multiples of those you should probably manage your time wisely! I decided I wanted to go to the amusement park and go shopping then I had to decide what stores to go to and what rides to go on. It was a very hectic day with running back to abercrombie last minute to buy some perfume, going on the spongebob rollercoaster one last time and getting split up with your friends cuz you had to go to the bathroom and they had to go to a store. It is definitely worth while to go to. But just be prepared to spend the whole day there or go a couple times. You will want to :)



So we go to Irondale. Its a five hour bus ride up to Minnesota. We performed then came back to watch the other bands perform. They were good. Really good. They were up to the Valley standards of good. So obviously we werent going to get first place. We were ready for this upset but when we heard our names come in for dead last I think I speak for everyone when I say a mood of utter dissapointment set in. I was very dissapointed. Then I was angry. Why did we even come? Was what I kept wondering. Then the morning after when everyone was cooled down and chilled a little it came to me. My flute lesson teacher told me that it was good that I was learning the music for all state even if I dont get it. It gets me prepared for harder music and the skills I learn while working on it will last forever. We may not have done well but we came and competed with some of the top bands not only in the midwest but in the NATION. Who else has the guts to do that? Not many people thats who. We actually had the guts to work our butts off for weeks and go up there and show them what we got! So we didnt get first place or second...or third and yeah you get the picture but just think how good we will be when it gets to Valley? The answer is really good. First place here we come! (Hopefully lol)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Role Models Shaping the Future

So I was in math class today. Watching the clock willing it to move faster when I got to thinking about teachers here at Kennedy. These were some of the things I thought about.

Dont you hate those teachers that dont teach anything, they joke all hour, get all buddy buddy with you, dont assign any homework and then hit you hard and fast with a huge test that is worth 50% of your grade that practically everyone in the class fails. Then the next day the teacher lectures you the whole hour to "be better students, study harder and ace the test next time around!!!" Yeah these teachers annoy me so much. It's like yeah we will do our job if you do yours! It's as simple as that. Maybe instead of joking around and trying to be our friends get down to business and actually be our teacher! I felt like I was always just barely above water in those classes, not yet drowning but sure as heck not doing the breast stroke either.

The other type of teachers that annoy me are the teachers that go through material way too fast and forget that they are teaching a course, not taking it. Some teachers are too smart for their own good. They try to explain something but forget we dont know it all like them and end up just confusing us even more!!! Then I feel dumb, have a couple breakdowns during the year and eventually just barely get by with a B.

I was sitting in that algebra class realizing though that we actually are blessed to have really good teachers here at Kennedy. For instance my algebra teacher Mrs. P is like the best teacher ever! And she doesnt get enough credit in my opinion. She is called nasty names and stuff and people say that she is hard because she has a no cell phone policy and gives really hard tests but I think that she is a great teacher. She gets at school at 730 in the morning for extra homework help and I mean 730 on the dot! I went in all the time freshman year and she was almost never late. 730 would roll around and she would be there with a smile on her face ready for the day to begin. Thats another thing she always looks like she is enjoying what she is doing. Some teachers I wonder why they even became teachers in the first place. They are never in a good mood and they dont like children but even though math isnt my favorite subject I am always happy to go to that class just because her positive attitude spreads throughout the room. She stays AFTER school too until 315 EVERY DAY! Unless she has a meeting or appointment and I appreciate this alot. Its her attention to detail that I love. She good just give us the work and say there solve it and good luck! But she spends that extra half hour before and after school to make sure that we succeed. She cares about her students that much and that is a quality that makes a good teacher. Today she handed back our tests and a small percentage of the students did get D's and F's and she made it a point to tell them that she was here to help them. She didnt call them stupid dumb or not worthy or anything she simply said that "This tells me that you struggle with math because this is a review of algebra 1." She finished by telling them that she was there before and after school to help and get this. "If my schedule doesnt work for you then I have the name of some great math tutors to give you too. Or you can change to a teacher that can accomodate your schedule better." She cared enough to refer a math tutor or send them to a different teacher. She is that selfless that if they succeed with a different teacher she is willing to do that. Another thing is she works just as hard as us. I hate teachers who give out work and never take the time to grade it. If we are willing to work hard enough to get this stuff done for you then you should be willing to work just as hard to get it back to us. She almost always has her tests graded two or three days after we take them depending on the length of them. And these arent those easy scantron things that take five minutes to go down and grade they are written out tests. She also has a unique way of grading it, she doesnt just give us credit for the right answers (thereby awarding cheaters) she goes through ALL of our work and gives us points for working it out correctly. She not only does all of this but writes out every single problem and how much each part is worth on the overhead the day we go over them to make sure we have no questions about it. I was thinking, how long do you think it would take to grade 80 papers, with 30 questions on them, go through ALL of the work, write it all out on the overhead and hand them all back within two days? A LOT! She works so hard. Probably harder than us just so she can see us succeed. I hate math, I hate everything about it. I am horrible in math too yet I got 102% on my last test and am getting an A in the class and found myself looking forward to 6th hour every single day. Yeah some would chalk that up to a good attitude and solely base it on the students work ethic. Not me, I know my work ethic and I know that it is the help of a wonderful teacher to get me to be all I can be. Thanks Mrs. P! You rock!

So when you get annoyed that a teacher caught you texting in class or you failed a test remember how hard your teachers work to watch you succeed in class. And thank them when you get the chance. They have earned it. (Hopefully you dont have sucky teachers but if you do, go ahead and tell them that. haha Just kidding dont that will get you in trouble, but if you dont care go ahead and do it your classmates will thankyou! I hope I dont get in trouble for writing this....Im sorry teachers! But technically it is their fault if their students dont like them, well most of the time unless the students are slackers and just goof off and get mad because the teachers wont let them text during class or whatever but now I am just rambling but hopefully I will get more words for my blog word count this week :) woot woot.) Anyway I forgot what I was saying so I will just end by saying MOST teachers work really hard. Yay :) Okay the end.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


So the homecoming football game was full of energy as usual. I get that. I was excited too. But it made me extremely mad when we went out on the field to play for halftime (when I say we I am referring to the marching band) and the Xavier and Kennedy student sections start having a "Let's see who can cheer the loudest and tick the band off the most" contest. To me that was just rude and tacky. Seriously? I know that at the beginning asking non of the students to talk so they can hear our meager beginning was a far fetched plea and I was pleased when I felt the roar of talking quiet down a little bit. I was very proud of the student section. Ever since we had that hate article published about us in the Torch last year I felt that the students of Kennedy were starting to redeem theirselves. Now they wouldnt let anyone leave the stands and they had to stay and watch the game. They would cheer for us as we came on the field and left the field, sometimes starting a MAR-CHING BAND, MAR-CHING BAND cheer. Im not gonna lie, it made me feel special :) But the saying goes, two steps forward one step back and that is exactly what happened at the homecoming game. We were doing pretty well and then we stopped to play our third song that we didnt have sets for. Then I hear a loud roar of cheers from behind us. Cool, they are nice they are cheering for us! Little naive voice of Carissa says inside her head. Then they cheer louder and louder to the point where I cant even hear the rest of the band playing and I almost get lost. I had to resist the urge to turn around and give them nasty gestures because I know if I did I would be in for it with Ms. F. Whatever that I could brush off but then I hear from a source that when we were marching off some kid has the nerve to fake punch one of the saxophones in the face complete with a "POW" sound effect followed by childish laughter. Yeah okay we are so mature. GET OVER YOURSELVES PEOPLE. I'm honestly starting to think that you all were raised in barns. Why can't you just suck it up for 2o minutes and show us a little respect. Trust me we deserve it and have earned it! Enough is enough.


Kennedy vs. Xavier Homecoming Game

So this game really excited me. It was homecoming, we had an early out and it was Friday! I was so ready to beat Xavier. Sure I heard some skeptics, well they beat us last year twice! Blah blah blah but I was putting on a more positive attitude towards it. I was ready for Kennedy to claim 42nd street! The game started off with a lot of action. Xavier got a touchdown, Kennedy got a touchdown, Kennedy missed a field goal, Xavier got another touchdown, Kennedy got another touchdown and at halftime we were ahead and winning! Then after halftime Royce Bell got injured and it all went downhill from there. Xavier got a touchdown, Xavier got another touchdown and eventually when there were two minutes left and it was 43 to 17, my optimistic attitude started to dwindle....and we lost. Oh well there is always next year right? Im still hoping the football team will do good and go to state! Go cougs!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

What does Kennedy mean to me?

"Homecoming top 7 assembly today" Mrs. Fleer yells at the top of her tower. We all give out a little woot woot because assemblies mean shorter class periods and a whole hour of nothing but sitting and doing nothing. Maybe the occasional text here and there. Anyway we get out early to go to the assembly and they did it a little differently this year as the candidates walked down the aisle instead of Mr. B. reading information about them a video went up on the screen and they talked about their experience at Kennedy as a slideshow of embarrassing baby pictures and highschool pictures scrolled across. I'm not going to lie, I thought it was totally cheesy at first and yes, I was one of the first to burst out laughing. As Max Martino recalled significant moments and life changing teachers he had, Haley talked about her most embarrassing freshman moments, blah blah blah we have all heard it before. Everyons highschool experience is the same. They are scared little freshman who eventually find friends and have a great time and by the time they are seniors they are HOMECOMING CANDIDATES YAY! Fairy tale ending. But as I sat there listening to this sentimental garbage I got to thinking, what DOES Kennedy mean to me? And so here it is.....

Everyone usually starts these things out as I remember walking through the doors my freshman year, being so scared and nervouse. But honestly I remember walking through the doors but I was scared senseless or worried about getting lost at all. I was excited! Finally I was a highschooler!!!! I had been to Kennedy a ton of times before so I knew my way around and I knew a few people because I had been to band camp the previous two weeks. So this was technically my third week of school. I was a nerdy little freshie though, this I cannot deny. You know those locker shelves? That everyone uses in Middle School but no one uses in highschool? Yeah I didnt get that memo. So I walk into the foyer new backpack and dorky neon purple locker shelf in hand with the highest of expectations. It was actually a very happy day for me because I was meeting up with all of my friends from Elementary school that I left when we made the split between Middle Schools. All in all that first freshman day wasnt that traumatizing for me. But when I come back for that five, ten, twenty five?, year reunion and they say what do you remember the most or what sticks out the most in your mind from highschool Im going to have to go with the crowd on this one and say the memories and friends that you make. You know its really important to chose the activities you want to participate in wisely. I can't speak for other extracurriculars but I have to say if it wasnt for band I wouldnt have made it through first trimester of freshman year. And I know you are asking well what does marching around a field have to do with getting around in school? And that isnt really what I mean, its the friends you make. The relationships you create. Marching band is like one giant family. Everywhere I went in the halls I saw a smiling bandie face willing to throw a smile my way or a wave. This helped me to feel accepted and more at home in such an unfamiliar place. One of my friends always talks about not doing anything over the weekends because they need to study. "I am not partying at all this year, I am studying because after this is real life and we can't goof around!"-Shabana (not the exact quote but you get the gist. While I half agree with this quote there is always that extra 50% I dont agree with. Dont get me wrong, I am a hard working student, I try my best and study and get mostly A's. I want to succeed in school as much as the next person but I feel you need a good balance between work and play. Yes, after these next two years we will be thrown into the real world to fend for ourselves and while I know this will be a tough transition do you want to look back on your highschool experience and only be able to say..."Well I sure studied a lot." I dont know about you but I dont. Thats why I will always remember those nights of cramming for ap tests but that great feeling of relief the next day during a marching band competition. I will always remember that fear of giving a speech in language arts class but that rush of adrenaline when you step on the stage to perform a play. I will not forget those long hot tennis practices but will always remember the birthday parties, the laughs and the inside jokes that will NEVER fade between me and my friends. Eventually we will graduate from school, that one test you failed will go away, the paper you forgot to turn in you will forget about, that audition you messed up that feeling of failure will eventually wear off, but the small moments of laughter with friends between classes, the late night phone calls and texting sessions, and the feeling of accomplishment after you have had a good show will never leave you no matter how old you get.

You'll forget about the tests you failed but you will never forget the friends you didn't study with ;)

Dedicated to all my friends :) Love you guys!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Love You Your Perfect Now Change and Almost Maine

So another thing that is happening at Kennedy is the Fall Musical and the Fall Play! The musical auditions were at the end of last year and there were a ton of students that tried out. An audition consisted of preparing a song that Mr. Yuska gave you to practice and you could choose between two scenes of the play to act out with a partner of your choice. Sometimes there are callbacks sometimes there are'nt. For this particular try out there were not and the cast list went up right away. For this show there is a cast of 12. Briana Larson, James Odegaard,Caitlin Magee, Tanner Munson, Marie Treangen, Lars Lee, Katie Reysack, Josh Siegel,Liz Sankey, Nick Arceo, Aubrey Heller and Keenan Wilson with student director Jill Pereboom and of course you can't forget the orchestra Rachael Dean and Sean McQuade. With so much talent this is sure to be an outstanding show! You can go to see this show October 1st and 2nd at 7pm and October 3rd at 2pm and 7pm. The Auditions for Almost Maine were the second week of school. This time there were callbacks. Director Danny Yuska said that he chose this show because it kind of tied in with the themes of I Love You Your Perfect Now Change. They were both romantic shows about love and dealing with the hardships that love brings. The cast list for that show is currently unavailable. With these two great shows on the way you probably are wondering how the theatre department can top that! Well just wait and see. Playtime Poppy's "A Year With Frog and Toad" shows in December and then the 209-2010 Speech Season starts with just as much energy as ever! So if you are looking for a good time go to see one of these amazing shows at Kennedy!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Homecoming Week <3

So it's homecoming week next week. Let the crazyness insue. Homecoming week in highschool language means, wacky themed dress days, overboard of school spirit, even less attention payed in class than usual and a LOT of energy. The week starts out with lazy day. This means that if you are brave enough to put on some footy pajamas, style your hair in the messiest way possible and carry around a stuffed teddy bear to all your classes all day, you have school spirit! :D Now if you are like me you still like to participate but you tone it down a bit and put on your cougar sweatpants a t-shirt or sweatshirt and throw on some flip flops and call it good. Tuesday is my personal favorite, crayola day. This is when each class (freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors) all are assigned a color. The Juniors color this year is red. I'm not sure about the others. It gets especially fun when we have assemblies on this day (ex. Homecoming Royalty assembly) because you really get to see which class has the most spirit. Wednesday is usually different every year, this year it is animal print day. Now if your fashion sense is anything like mine, you dont have a single thing in your closet with any type of animal print on it. I'm really hoping someone will go all out and dress up in a gorilla costume for Wednesday. Just for fun haha. So I'm thinking I will skip that day. Thursday is jersey day. Self explained, the time old tradition of the football players giving their jerseys to the girls (usually their girlfriends or the girls they like) just another excuse for the girls who dont get to wear them to be called outcasts. The football players wear the home jerseys, the girls wear the away jerseys. Pretty stupid tradition in my opinion. All thats promoting is relationships and dating in school which they turn around and repremand us for when they see us "PDAing" in the hallways. Way to be hypocritical. This to me does not show any type of school spirit, its not like you can chose. Some people though wear other jerseys like last year my Biology teacher wore a soccer jersey, and some people wear professional football jerseys that you can buy in stores. Friday is the green and gold day. This is the one that people usually go all out on. Girls and guys alike show up decked out in pounds of green and gold mardi gras beads, neon yellow and green knee high socks, facepaint and even sometimes green and gold hair! Yes this is where there are no rules, its a free for all. These are usually the most hyped up days to because its the day of the game. Now these special "fun" days arent all homecoming has to offer. There is always a parade on wednesday night. Myself being in the band I have never actually seen a full parade with the floats and everything but I have seen the floats getting ready and stuff and it certainly is fun to watch. You have club organizations, committees, drama floats, football floats, dance team floats everything the student body can come up with and the best part is everyone is represented, there is no one team or organization that is left out that didnt want to be. Also on Friday's there is usally something special. This Friday is a half day, last year it was a half day and they had blow up boxing rings, rock walls and food so thats what I am expecting this year too. Homecoming week is a lot of fun but the thing I like about it the best is that it gives the school a reason to come together and unite as one. That night at the football game there are no jocks, nerds, preps, emos, cheerleaders, or populars or whatever stereotypical group you can think of. There are just cougars, and proud ones at that. GO COUGS!!!!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ready Set March!

So school has started. Girls swimming has started, cross country is in full gear, we have already won one football game and homecoming is...*gasp NEXT WEEK! WHAT?!? Kennedy is up and running again and all the activities are in full gear. One activity that kind of slips by the radar though is marching band. Yes marching band, loved by all except the soccer team...haha. Marching band actually started in August. With the dreaded BAND CAMP! A full week, Monday through Friday of 8am to 5pm marching in the hot sun, playing for hours on end with half an hour lunch break....if you havent figured it out by now its a pretty fun time. Anyway this year we are doing things a little differently. We are not marching the freshman, and we dont have a zero hour practice anymore. This makes our band smaller and decreases the number of rehearsals we have. Many people have been asking if we are going to pull it off. Mrs Fleers response..."Oh yeah, we're fine." I sure hope we are! We played at our first football game last friday. It got a thumbs up from the crowd and a thumbs sideways from the directors. Our marching was good but our sound needed a little push. It needed to be louder. As of now we have our first and second songs memorized and on the field. We hope to get number three marched and memorized by our first competition at Johnston on Saturday September 18th. Our Johnston show wont be scored but we will be judged and recieve critique. This is a good warm up for the coming season. If you would like to see the marching band for yourself and find out how amazing we are you can go to the next home football game and instead of going to buy a hotdog....stay for the half time show and watch us :) You wont regret it!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

All About Hailee

Well the most important thing you need to know about hailee is her obsession with Matt, Bryan, Steven and that other random drumline instructor. Just like me :) I have to admit they are pretty hot!!!! Anyway Hailee loves them so much ahah. She is in cross country and love marching band almost as much as I do!!!! She wanted to be amish in 5th grade with me and she loves to eat junk food. She freaks out a lot too. Hailee calm down!!!!!!!!!!


My Very First Blog!!!

Hi :) This is my very first blog! This is so cool! Okay so I don't know what to write about so I'm just going to post this anyway to see if it works :D.